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Ipswich ‘underwater highway’ recognised for protecting lungfish in new documentary

The world’s oldest living vertebrate is now able to travel freely through the Bremer River and its tributaries, thanks to Council upgrades featured in a documentary series showcasing endangered Australian wildlife.

The ‘Australian Lungfish’ episode of Back from the Brink showcases conservation efforts for this 145 million-year-old species, including the intricate series of 100 millimetre drops made of rock and concrete at the Berry’s Weir fishway.

Council is now preparing a feasibility report on a potential new fishway at Woogaroo Creek, after monitoring found populations of lungfish in lower reaches of the Bremer River for the first time.

Environment and Sustainability Chair Councillor Russell Milligan said removing waterway barriers through constructing fishways is cost-effective and delivers significant and immediate environmental benefits.

“Our native fish species cannot jump barriers to get to upstream habitats. So, it’s important we have underwater highways for these fish to use along our waterways,” Cr Milligan said.

“Aside from waterway barriers, local fish communities face a number of additional threats including deteriorating habitat condition, riparian weeds and introduced pest fish species.

“That is why we have a variety of programs in place such as the delivery of riparian maintenance and stream-bank stabilisation projects, which help to improve water quality and habitat condition for native fish and other aquatic species.”

There are six lungfish species left in the world, with the Australian lungfish only found in the Brisbane, Bremer, Mary, and Burnett catchments in South East Queensland.

The episode of Back from the Brink, which features on the fourth season of Natura Pacific’s series, is available here.

Read more about Berry’s Weir fishway here.

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